Note: Jerry France submitted this letter to the editor.
My wife, Georgianne France, died last week. Even on her sickbed she was promoting Georgetown with this letter to your paper, which is attached. She clearly felt that the Georgetown [County] Chamber of Commerce was not getting enough mileage out of the fact that this is Michelle Robinson Obama’s ancestral home.
During the 2008 Presidential campaign, Michelle spoke to an overflow crowd in her Georgetown church, her only public appearance here.
Here’s Georgianne’s letter draft, which her rapidly failing health didn’t allow her to polish for your publication.
Sometimes I wonder.
For years the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has been inventing reasons for tourists to put Georgetown on their “must see” maps. And now they finally have one.
As the ancestral home of Michelle Obama, Georgetown promoting same would be turning visitors away. The most admired woman in the world has her roots right here in Georgetown.
Think of it. Think of the numbers of people who would love to see her ancestral home; experience her family’s roots.
Could it be these people would be mostly African Americans?
Sometimes I wonder.
‘Mercy Care Day’
August 26th is a very special day for those of us at Mercy Care. In 2009, Myrtle Beach Mayor John Rhodes declared August 26th “Mercy Care Day.” Initially, Mercy celebrated this day with staff appreciation cakes and joint events with the Myrtle Beach Chamber After Hours group in the form of a sidewalk fair.
But last year, Mercy's staff suggested we do something for the needy in our communities.
Although Mercy's staff's generosity does not surprise me, it gave me such pride that the staff pulled together and used funds budgeted for a staff party to purchase and deliver food and water to the homeless in Myrtle Beach and Little River.
This year, in celebration of Mercy Care Day, I want to share with you just one of the many stories about Mercy staff's “over and above” actions to make one family's goal to be home at end of life a reality.
Mercy was given a hospice referral on an indigent man who was in the hospital, dying. He desperately wanted to go home, and his brother, his only family, and a bilateral amputee, planned to be his caregiver.
The home they referred to was their deceased mother's mobile home, which had been abandoned for over two years.
When Mercy staff arrived, wild animals were the only inhabitants, and in some places holes in floors existed. It had no water or electricity, and no working appliances. Mercy's social worker contacted a local builder who donated enough plywood to allow the brother (former construction worker until the loss of his feet) to fix the floors. He requested funds from Mercy's indigent funds budget to get water and power back on.
He worked with other staff to get the interior cleaned up, and had pest control out to help make the place habitable.
The social worker, with the help of other Mercy staff, was able to,again tap indigent resources to purchase a used refrigerator and toaster oven which they delivered in one of the staff's trucks.
With the delivery of a hospital bed and other medical equipment, Mercy was able to transfer the patient in to his mother's home. His brother, overwhelmed by this, began to cry and blessed Mercy staff over and over.
The patient, unable to speak, would squeeze staff's hands twice to indicate “thank you.” With his brother as caregiver, the patient lived his last two weeks at home, and died peacefully where he so wanted to be.
The entire hospice team worked so hard to make this possible for these two men. This is just one of many Mercy stories I could share with you.
As your hometown, non-profit hospice, this is where some of your generous donations go: Right back to our local patients and their families.
We could not do what we do if it wasn't for the incredible generosity from our communities, and we thank you.
So, as we approach August 26th, please send love and positive energy to the staff members of Mercy Care.
You know they will be doing something special for Mercy's patients and their families, and your communities. I'll keep you posted.
Sara-Jo Faucher, RN, MSN, Geri-CNS
Mercy Care Hospice
Locations in Myrtle Beach, Conway and Loris
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